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  • Writer's pictureMark Taylor

Drones, Biden and Infrastructure are you ready?

President Biden's Infrastructure Bill means drones will become your best friend.

Here is a cliff notes version of industry comments:

To recap what you may know: U.S. infrastructure was rated a “C-minus” by the American Society for Civil Engineers, who says that failing infrastructure costs every American thousands of dollars a year: while U.S. infrastructure overall ranks second in the world, the country falls to the 13th place in transportation infrastructure. The $715 billion bill, recently passed by the House of Representatives, outlines a path forward for funding major restoration of the U.S. infrastructure; and prioritizes clean water and new transportation infrastructure. IIJA includes money for advanced digital construction management systems and related technologies.

The IIJA aims to support the adoption of a broad range of digital construction technologies throughout the construction lifecycle, from design and engineering to construction and operations.

David Ohrenstein, director of government affairs and senior public policy counsel at AEC software maker Autodesk

Enter drones. To truly modernize and future proof America's infrastructure, it's a safe bet that drones should play a key role enabling quick inspections and spotting developing issues prior to them debilitating an electric grid or roadway. Goldman Sachs forecasts the total drone market size to be worth $100 billion— driven by the need for better data collection in commercial industries like agriculture, mining, energy, and infrastructure. The once nascent industry is on the precipice of breaking into the mainstream and the Biden infrastructure plan could be the tipping point.


Accurately knowing and tracking the state of the infrastructure via well-planned and frequent inspection activities will be critical in identifying the areas that need immediate attention, as well those areas that have a multiplying effect across the rest of the system. The need for good inspection practices and technologies goes beyond just trying to find and fix existing issues. A timely inspection regime would allow companies to track changes and deteriorations and take preventative measures to actually prevent problems from occurring, and vastly extend the life of our existing and new infrastructure.

The sheer amount of infrastructure that we have, and the geographical spread of it combined with the widely varying environments they are located in means that regular inspections of our infrastructure is going to be critical to ensure that all efforts to repair, fix and expand our infrastructure succeed. I believe there is a lot of new and effective technology, including robotics and AI, that innovative US companies can bring to bear on these challenging problems that would make this an economically viable and sustainable win for the entire country.

It's important to remember that for the vast majority of commercial use cases flying a drone once or twice a year has little to no value. Typically, to see the benefits of drone-based data collection, flights need to be conducted multiple times per day every day, indefinitely - to cover enough area, survey at a proper resolution, and detect problems when they occur, and potentially before they occur.

Vijay Somandepalli, CTO and Co-Founder of American Robotics

So now you know what’s coming how are you prepared to scale up?

What equipment do you need?

What insurance?

What FAA Approvals and licensing do you need?

What software?

What safety protocols do you need?

How do you hire into this field?

Who internally can you pull out of the workforce to get trained and run an internal program?

What computers do you need? And no your laptop won’t work!

How much time will it take for you to gain a level of unconscious competence to trust the data so we can act on it?

More importantly how much will it cost you in mistakes until you gain a level of competency?

So, is your head now spinning?

Well good news – with over 500k spent in equipment over the last 5 years, we can help you set up your internal department and share with you what we have learned after 7 years of flying and 14000 missions.

With 6500 acres flown in one survey and multiple 3000-acre sites inspected for topo, survey, and even ALTA. Roads as long as 23 miles. Transmission lines in 12-mile chunks, using lidar and RGB are some examples of the work in the last 6 months completed.

So, feel free to call ua and have us help you limit exposure, liability, and limit hefty capital investments.

So, what’s your plan for drones within your firm?

We are here to help in any way we can. Reach out to us for a free demo today to see what is possible – trust me your reaction will be “I never knew a drones could do that!”

Contact 480-744-5707

Extreme Aerial Productions has been in business since 2014.

With waivers to operate in all airspaces day and night and even over people..

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